I wasn’t going to post this dessert recipe I made for a Valentine’s project for the Central England Co-op as it wasn’t very photogenic. Nonetheless, I made it and it was really delicious so here it is…passion fruit sweetheart cake. It’s a very old and traditional recipe I adapted from Jane Grigson’s English Food – a pastry case filled with passion fruit and lime curd, topped with almond sponge and whipped meringue. It’s a nicer and rather posher version of lemon meringue pie; a dessert rather than a cake really. You could use any flavour of jam or curd and it would be equally gorgeous.
You will need…
- A heart-shaped baking tin
- Base – ready-rolled puff pastry, 250g passion fruit curd (you could use lemon curd, cherry or strawberry conserve )
- Filling – 4 egg yolks, beaten, 125g caster sugar, grated rind and juice of a lemon, 60g ground almonds, 60g slivered almonds, 60g melted, cooled butter
- Meringue topping -4 egg whites, a pinch of salt, 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 190C
- Lightly grease the baking tin and lay two strips of foil across the base so that you’ll be able to lift the finished cake out without a drama.
- Line the tin with the pastry, trim and spread the passion fruit curd over it.
- Make the almond filling by creaming the sugar and butter together. Add the ground almonds, whisk in the egg yolks and then add the lemon rind and juice and the slivered almonds. Pour over the pastry case and bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden.
- Now for the meringue. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff. Fold in 1 tablespoon of the sugar and beat for a few moments until thick and glossy.
- Once the base has cooked for 30 minutes, pile or pipe the meringue on the top right to the edge of the pastry. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
- Return to the oven for another 15 minutes until the meringue is peaked and brown.
- Allow to cool slightly and then lift out of the baking tray with the pieces of foil onto a serving dish. The foil should then be easy to pull away and be discarded.
- Eat while still warm.
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